Arm Exercises For Seniors and the Elderly; Reach Back

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Arm exercises for seniors and the elderly should be non stressful and performed with good posture.

Try to pick exercises that avoid placing undue stress on your shoulders, elbows and wrists. Move your arms in directions which are normal and natural.

If arm exercises are performed with the wrong angle,  over-stretching or hyper-extending a joint, a stressful injury may occur.

The reach back exercise below is an example of a safe and simple way to stretch your shoulders to improve extension.

Purpose of this exercise

  • Improve your ability to reach behind as in reaching back to hold on to an armrest before sitting down.
  • Increase the range of motion of your shoulders and stretches your chest muscles.

How to do it:

Step 1

Reach back start

  • Stand with a chair behind you.
  • Inhale as you interlace your hands behind your back.

Step 2

Reach Back end

  • Exhale and gently move arms backward.
  • Pause, then return to the start position and repeat 10 times.

Breathing:

  • Exhale during the backward movement phase.
  • Inhale during the forward movement phase.

Tips:

  • Stand with spine straight and ribs lifted.
  • Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Stretching should feel fairly good. Stop if you experience any pain.

Take it up a notch:

  • Lean forward at the waist as you bring the arms back and exhale.

Upper Body Stretches – Watch These Exercise Videos


1. Shoulder And Upper Back Stretch

  • Shoulder stretches to increases your shoulder and scapular range of motion.
  • Stretches your chest and shoulder.
  • Will make it easier to reach to that high shelf in your kitchen.

2. Shoulder Rolls

  • Improve the range of motion in your shoulder and upper back region with these stretching routines.
  • Will assist in keeping your rib muscles flexible.
  • Help in activities like reaching up to a high shelf or across the table at dinner.

3. Neck Side Stretch

  • Improve the range of motion in your neck and upper back with these good stretching exercises.
  • Helps with those everyday movements you need to do like looking under the bed for that other shoe!

4.Neck Rotation

  • Improve the range of motion in our neck with these neck stretches.
  • Help stretch the upper back and scapular muscles.

5. Shoulder Circles

  • Improve the range of motion of your shoulders and upper back with these types of stretching.
  • Helps increase flexibility in your chest and lungs.

6. Shoulder Stretch

  • Helps stretch our shoulder, scapula and supporting muscles and joints.
  • Improves our reaching ability especially across the body for these benefits of stretching.

7. Chest Stretch

  • Stretches the chest and shoulders with these chest exercises.
  • Improves posture and lung functioning.

8. Overhead Reach

  • Increase the range of motion in your shoulder and upper back with these arm stretches.
  • Help improve your ability to reach, as in getting a pan out of the cabinet or ice cream out of the freezer.

9. Reach Back

  • Improve your ability to reach behind as in reaching back to hold on to an armrest before sitting down.
  • Increase the range of motion of your shoulders and stretches your chest muscles with these arm exercises.

10. Triceps Stretch

  • Stretches the shoulder and triceps with these stretches before exercise.
  • Improves the mobility of your upper arm and shoulder.

11. Hand Stretch

  • Increase the flexibility and range of motion of your hand and fingers with these hand exercises.
  • Warms up your hand to prepare for the activity of the day.

12. Arm Raises

  • Improves the range of motion of your shoulders with these muscle stretching exercises.
  • Strengthens your arm for activities that require overhead reach like up to a shelf or pulling the light cord in the basement.

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